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Monday, May 29, 2006 : 0300 Hrs


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    Japan to resume USD 500 mn annual funding for Pak

    Islamabad May 29. (PTI): Seven years after it suspended aid to Pakistan following the 1998 nuclear tests, Japan has decided to resume its 500 million dollar annual development assistance to Islamabad from the next financial year to help the country undertake mega development projects.

    Japanese assistance under the Yen Package Loan, suspended in 1998 after Pakistan conducted nuclear tests, would be forthcoming from the next fiscal for infrastructure, road and communication projects, 'Dawn' quoted officials as saying.

    In the wake of the devastating quake last year, Tokyo disbursed a 200 million dollar grant to help survivors.

    While resuming the aid, Japan has stated that it expects Pakistan to strengthen democratic dispensation by holding fair and free elections next year.

    Also, it said it believed Pakistan would not achieve real progress unless it concentrated on the education sector. It stresses that Pakistan should alocate at least 4 per cent of its GDP on education.

    Japan has asked Pakistan to spend adequate funds on social sectors. Initially, Tokyo has accepted Islamabad's request to fund the Rs 10 billion project for the construction of about 3,000 km of rural farm-to-market roads in selected districts in the four provinces.

    The Government of Japan will finance the project in two phases through Japan Bank of International Cooperation.

    Japan has said lack of adequate and dependable communication infrastructure has proved to be the biggest constraint in achieving the desired goals of development in Pakistan, the report said.

    Without such an infrastructure, development cannot proceed in any of the socio economic sectors in rural areas, the report added.


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